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With the NFL draft only a few days away, the Patriots will be looking for additions for both sides of the ball. Bill Belicheck and the Patriots have a knack of trading down and looking for talent later in the draft. This is where WR T.J. Jones from Notre Dame comes in. I know what you are saying. Why would the Patriots need another wide-out with all the recent free agents they already signed?
In his senior year of college, Jones set career-highs in all significant categories with 70 receptions, 1,108 receiving yards, and 9 touchdowns. Also, Jones had 9 rushes for 67 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jones was named team captain, and was able to put up these numbers with a QB issue that would make Roger Staubach and Craig Morton blush. Jones is considered a balanced and fluid route runner, and will catch nearly everything thrown in his direction. So why have you not heard of this guy? Check the odds at Allpro.
Jones is only 6 feet tall and skinny. Jones will have issues getting off the line with the mammoths in the NFL. Plus, Jones had a decent but nothing special combine with a 4.48 40 yard dash and a 33 inch vertical jump. Usually, with wide receivers you want a big and lanky or short and fast athlete. Jones is not the proto-typical receiver and likely will not be a star in the NFL. So, Jones will most likely go on Day 3 in the 5th or 6th round.
Jones may be lacking in the physical tangibles of the game, but Jones is a smart, well-spoken player who would fit quite nicely in the Patriots system. Of course, the issue is number of receivers already with the Patriots. If Jones wants to last in the league he must become well versed in special teams, but since Jones has the drive and smarts he should at least be solid if not good in the league. San Diego or New England have been the favorites to draft this prospect, and do not be surprised to see Jones’s name called early on Day 3.